‘We bring a smile to someone’s face’: Franklin County’s YMCA holds free clothing store

  • Employees George Funk and Susan Holmquist check people in at the free clothing store at Franklin County’s YMCA in Greenfield on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • Hector Torres Jr. and Hector Torres Sr., both of Greenfield, browse items at the free clothing store at Franklin County’s YMCA in Greenfield on Tuesday. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • The annual free clothing store was offered at Franklin County’s YMCA in Greenfield on Tuesday. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/PAUL JABLON

Staff Writer
Published: 10/4/2023 12:16:38 PM
Modified: 10/4/2023 12:15:38 PM

GREENFIELD — Hundreds of people meandered through Franklin County’s YMCA to the gymnasium on Tuesday for the free clothing store, now in its second year since a hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shoppers browsed a collection of donated clothing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., welcomed in organized waves. Jayne Trosin, the Y’s fitness and social responsibility director, said the apparel is donated by members, who also volunteered to sort them and put them out on tables and hangars for shoppers.

“We’re giving [shoppers] a bag and they can get whatever they want,” she said around 11:15 a.m. “There’s definitely a need in Greenfield.”

Trosin said the event typically attracts 500 to 600 people throughout the day.

One of those people on Tuesday was Greenfield resident Jill Perry, who said this was her second year visiting the free clothing store, having been told about it by a neighbor last year.

“It’s a great service, for jackets, everything,” she said as she left the gymnasium with two bags of clothes. She said last year she found new denim jeans in her size.

Shoppers waited patiently in front of a sign outside the YMCA at 451 Main St., with a line going up the street. They were ushered in through the front office and up the stairs as soon as space allowed for it.

Leaving with a new suit and new coat, Millers Falls resident Arthur Jackson said he marveled at the generosity he witnessed.

“To be able to see the unity that people bring by contributing and giving to those that don’t have, that’s amazing,” Jackson said. “It says so in the Bible — this is what we’re supposed to do … look out for our brothers and sisters.”

Jackson said this was his first time at the free store.

“This is paradise,” he said. “This didn’t just come from one person. This came from a bunch of people. I think, honest to God … that if more people did the things that the people here in Greenfield have done, this world would be a hell of a better place.”

Trosin said remaining items are donated to the Hartsprings Foundation, which supports six Big Brothers Big Sisters chapters, including the one in Franklin County.

“It’s a nice community event,” she said. “The benefit is we bring a smile to someone’s face.”

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.


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